Imagine; You pull up in your most recent car to a white picket fence, surrounding a little white house. As you open the gate you notice the trimmed green grass brushing against your shoes and the array of coloured flowers from roses to lilies, that watch on as they stand tall in their own tinted brown houses. You hear the crunch of pebbles and stones as you walk up the grey path to an open door with your family standing there looking happy as they know you’ve finished work and are ready to spend the remaining time left in the day with them.
This is the image that is painted as you grow up, from school to college and especially University.
When you go to University, you find independence as you proceed to pay rent, pay bills and have stupid arguments regarding cleaning and food with your housemates. But you also go there to expand your current knowledge in your chosen field, for me this was music performance. You’re promised that because you’ve chosen this path where you put off the real world to gain more knowledge that you’ll have a better job when you leave. But for some, this isn’t the case.
In a Part Time Job;
I graduated university May this year, took part in an internship that ended abruptly leaving me to move home to Wales in August, whereas most of the connections and relationships I had made were in England. I now work Front Of House at a 4 Star Hotel… If you’d asked me 3 years ago this is not where I would have seen my path going. I would have said a flat in the city working at a record company songwriting, coming home to my partner at the end of the day. Sadly this is the path I’m taking and it’s a hard one, but it’s not where I see myself staying for long.
The Bad Days;
My career changed throughout University, from wanting to be a performer to a songwriter and now to working on social media/ marketing still within music but pursuing performing and songwriting as a hobby.
You may wonder why I’m telling you this… Well, I know that sooo many people experience The Promise (perfect house and family) growing up, that perfect image. But no one tells of the struggle to get there and what you might have to go through mentally and physically. Many of the people I know do currently have jobs after University, they just aren’t the ones promised to us and there is SO MUCH PRESSURE to have that perfect job. Sorry to say it’s not that easy you are going to have to suffer through tons of rejection letters, pointless interviews that go nowhere and you may have to move home. But it’s not the be all and end all, as you’re just waiting for that one person to give you a chance so you can show what you can offer in return. That may be 6 months after you graduate to 12 months, it’s just having those bad days and challenging them, here are just some ideas to make those bad days temporary;
- Get feedback on your CV. It could be the difference that gets you that next interview and it keeps you busy as you wait in the wind.
- Create a portfolio of not just the projects you think look good, but the ones you genuinely had fun working on. You’ll be able to talk about it with more of a loving tone and employers will notice. There’s no point in including something that you’re just not happy with/ passionate about.
- Meet with family and friends. You may not have the salary you were planning on having just yet, but with that part-time job you still have the freedom to make plans with friends and just getting away for a few days. A change of environment can do the world of good. In some cases, it might act as motivation to remind you what you are fighting for.
- On bad days, where you do feel trapped or as if you don’t feel like you’re making any progress just talk to someone. I don’t mean a professional, I just mean a friend who can lend an ear for an hour and just make you genuinely feel better.
- If you’re low on money and are a bit burnt out, the rejections have gotten to you or you just don’t feel great, then don’t push it. Take a mental health day to yourself, binge and just relax. Then make a list of everything you can do the next day and start from there, crossing them off one by one will make you feel like you’re getting somewhere.
Those Negative People;
When you do move home, unfortunately, there will be some people who challenge your plan, whether it’s a simple thing like earning your driving licence, to moving out and starting your life. There will always be someone saying you can’t. Especially if you set a small window to do so. I just want to say; There is absolutely nothing wrong with having faith in yourself and setting yourself an ambitious goal that you feel you can achieve with hard work! You just have to remember that.
You can either argue with them or passively agree whilst continuing with the plan you have going. If you need help then ask for it, but just because you’re in a temporary blip doesn’t mean they are right. At the end of the day, it’s your life and you decide what you do with it and who you spend it with.
I hope this helps to the ones who are currently at University (honestly just make the most of it, it really is gone in the blink of an eye) and the ones who feel alone afterwards. Trust me you’re not as there are probably thousands of people going through the same thing with similar situations. You are never alone as long as you have faith in yourself.